Everything’s Bigger In Texas, 04.03.2014

Rumor has it that the word “BIG” was invented in Texas, specifically Houston. Don’t quote us on that — we’re just saying that it makes sense, considering the enormity of the Houston Greek Festival and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. With the end of the rodeo, however, the Southwest Freeway has finally been restored to its normal, moderately congested state, and we’re already preparing for our next big bash: 47th Annual WorldFest.

Untitled

read more »

Stressed at work? Free your mind, and the rest will follow., 03.13.2014

When you’re living on an island of saturated inboxes and endless to-do lists, slipping into the chronic madness of office life can happen all too quickly. However, let us remind you that rest is important. And we’re not talking about a cozy hammock and your fluffiest pillow — we’re talking about the spiritual and emotional rest one achieves through mindfulness. All the sleep-in Saturdays between now and the end of time could never fully rejuvenate you from the long weeknights and constant decision-making required by a demanding job.

According to the National Institute of Health at the University of Massachusetts, exercising mindfulness in the workplace helps improve brain activity and concentration amongst employees. It enhances our ability to envision options and open ourselves to new perspectives, which makes us better collaborators.

Untitled

read more »

Doing Good: The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston Talks Good Cents, 02.27.2014

We hope y’all will pardon the terrible pun in this post’s title, but we felt strongly about it. For this month’s nonprofit feature, we let the daughter of an accountant take the reigns. In keeping with that background, she picked a nonprofit that focuses on an issue that is oft-overlooked – financial literacy.

The Greater Houston Women’s Foundation was established in 1990 by a group of professional women who were concerned that less than five percent of philanthropic dollars were dedicated to women and girls’ causes. The founders did not want Houston to follow this national trend, so they gathered like-minded women who contributed to build the foundation. They had three goals: To help women become economically self sufficient; encourage prevention and early intervention of problems affecting women and girls; and support programs that develop and improve life skills. In 2002, the organization’s name was changed to The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston. read more »

For the Love of Learning: Our Favorite Industry Books, 02.14.2014

Our relationship to plenty of things can seem fickle. There’s always a hot new social network, restaurant or other distraction to occupy our time. The world of industry books operates in much the same way. Each year, there’s a new “must have” book offering the streamline your life and revolutionize your career. In that overwhelming and ever-changing chaos, there are some industry books that we think have stood the test of time.

Happiness is a good book.

Happiness is a good book.

read more »

Is Anybody Out There?, 02.06.2014

The digital world can be a bit overwhelming. For marketers, the internet provides the opportunity to interact with their present and potential consumers at any time, with the hope of cultivating brand loyalty (and, hopefully, boosting the bottom line). On the other hand, consumers are constantly confronted with a barrage of information. (Facebook alone produces 2.5 billion pieces of content EACH DAY.) Breaking through the noise and establishing your brand as a voice worth listening to requires an approach that centers on relevancy, thoughtfulness and realness.

The Internet as a map. Whoa.

The Internet as a map. Whoa.

read more »

Ciara Rouege: Drawing My Life, 01.30.2014

Our newest 20K intern, Ciara Rouege, shares her story through one of her passions – videography. Help us welcome her to the team in the comments!

Bigger Isn’t Always Better, 01.23.2014

Your cable is out – again. After being on hold for what seems like hours, you explain to the customer service representative on the other line that, yes, you’ve tried resetting the box, and, no, it didn’t work. The next day, you wait around your apartment for hours, and the technician STILL doesn’t make it during your appointment window, citing a flat tire. However, the next day, the CEO of the cable company calls you to personally apologize for your long wait time: “But, I can vouch for Joe – he really did have a flat tire.”

Obviously, the CEO of a large cable corporation probably doesn’t have the time to make personalized follow-up calls. But wouldn’t it be swell if he did?

There are great things about working for a bigger company. But today, we’re taking a moment to reflect on what we love about working for a small one.

Untitled3

A Resolution We Shouldn’t Have To Make, 01.10.2014

“Many people perceive public relations as something less than respectable – as clever strategies to convince the public that what’s wrong is right. Some see public relations professionals as manipulators of the public mind, rather than conveyors of the truth.” – Steven R. Van Hook, PhD

In the new year, many of us have made resolutions for 2014.  As communicators, we are well-versed in providing brand and image guidance to our clients and striving to do our best for them. But what are we to do about the perception of ourselves and our industry? Too often, we are referred to as “spin doctors,” responsible for the overt deceit of the publics we should be serving. How did this happen, and how do we combat it?

ethics-scale

read more »

A Road Block of the Mind, 01.02.2014

There are few things worse than staring at a blank page with a deadline breathing down your neck and not a clue of what to write. Writer’s block happens to all of us. Sometimes we can push our writing off for another day when you feel more inspired – however, there are always those instances where you have to push through the darkness to put something on the page. Luckily, there are some techniques you can try to help get your creative juices, as well as word count, flowing.

Calvin and Hobbes

read more »

Doing Good: Our Global Village Thinks Globally, Acts Everywhere, 12.19.2013

We kicked off our featured nonprofit series with the worthy (and wordy, in a great way) Writers in Schools. If you missed it, be sure to check out their work and maybe even find yourself in an upcoming workshop. This month-and in celebration of the season of giving-we’ll take you around the world with a Houston-area nonprofit that is thinking globally and acting everywhere.

When I met Roxanne Paiva on the first day of our Leadership Houston Class XXXI retreat, I knew she was going to be a new entry on my “People I Think Hung the Moon” list. This teeny ball of energy actually does the things that we all think about but rarely bring into life. While traveling in Southeast Asia a few years ago, Roxanne was deeply affected by the pervasive poverty and vowed to do something to change that landscape. Many of my fellow travelers-myself included-have had that exact same thought, but we come home…post our photos to Facebook, maybe…get busy with daily life…and push those thoughts out the door. But not, Roxanne. She quickly rallied friends and family to raise a whole heap of money to help support a woman she met during her travels. Several years later, this act of kindness in action has grown into one of my favorite nonprofits, Our Global Village.

Our Global Village founder Roxanne Paiva with a refugee artisan

Our Global Village founder Roxanne Paiva with a refugee artisan
Picture 1 of 20

read more »